3 Ways Food Processors Can Keep Up With Demand During COVID-19 Pandemic

A close up of a bag of macaroni at a food processing plant. In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19), stay at home orders and social distancing have become the new normal. It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 epidemic is having an impact on industries all throughout the country. But food processing has seen a huge surge in demand over the past few months.

Grocery stores are seeing products like milk, eggs and bread fly off the shelves, making them harder to find on a daily basis. For food processors, this unprecedented spike in demand can be challenging to keep up with. And while the sales growth is nice to see, making sure people have the food they need is a top priority.

As food processing demand continues to grow, your business might be looking for ideas on how to keep up. It’s been awhile since the food processing industry has had to adapt to such a drastic change in the market. But the good news is we’re all in this together. And we’re going to share some insight on how your business can keep up with food processing demand.

1. Finding a Balance in Resources

Many food processors offer products to both retail stores and restaurants. Food processors often have to find a balance between providing products for these two areas. Most of the time, effort and resources are spilt 50/50 between them.

But due to COVID-19, restaurants are shutting down and are only offering take-out and delivery services. What does this mean for your business? It means there’s an opportunity to re-invest the resources you spend on restaurant products and put them into the retail space. In fact, Tyson Foods is using this strategy to meet the retail demand of their chicken, beef and pork products.

But How Do You Find the Right Balance?

Food processing during this time can be tough to navigate. So, if you’re trying to find the right balance between retail and restaurant resources, start with an audit. Go through and see how your restaurant products have been performing. Once you have that info, you’ll have a better idea of how you can reallocate your production.

While this is a strategy that can’t be used for the long term, many companies across the industry are using it to help stem the tide caused by COVID-19.

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2. Increasing Your Operating Hours and Staff

One of the ways you can keep up with food processing demand is with extra operating hours. But it’s important to note that this strategy comes with considerations. Extending your operating hours could mean hiring more staff and a shorter maintenance schedule for your food processing equipment.

For example, in the middle of COVID-19, many food processors are running production through the weekend. And with the increased demand and products flying off grocery store shelves, extending operating hours is close to becoming mandatory. How can you do this yourself? Start by looking at your staff. Ask yourself:

  • Do we have the staff to support extended hours?
  • How many employees would we have to add?
  • How difficult would it be to find more employees to hire?

Longer Operating Hours and Safety Measures

If you’re looking to keep up with food processing demand, remember that you’ll have to keep up with safety measures. Keep in mind that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has protocols you’ll have to follow when you extend your operating hours. You’ll also have to keep a sharp eye on the maintenance schedule for your food processing equipment.

3. Invest in Used Food Processing Equipment

Adding more employees or extending operating hours can only go so far. After all, you’re limited by the equipment you have in place. But investing in used food processing equipment can give your business the boost it needs to keep up with demand.

One of the biggest barriers that prevent food processors from investing in new equipment is cost. But finding the right equipment provider can give your company the savings it needs to make it a viable option. In fact, given the sharp increase in demand, it’s actually a great time to invest in stainless-steel food processing equipment.

With more equipment, you’ll be able to build your relationships with retail customers. And being able to keep up with demand now could help you secure more business once COVID-19 passes.

Discover Affordable Food Processing Equipment at Zwirner

At Zwirner Equipment, we know that it’s a difficult time to be in food processing. And trying to keep up with such a sudden spike in demand can be challenging. But we’re here to help you through this transition.

To help your business keep up with the increased food processing demand, our business is staying open. We have a variety of used food processing equipment that can help your business increase production at a fraction of the cost. Take a look at our current inventory or contact our expert team if you need a custom solution.

We’re in this together, and Zwirner Equipment can help your food processing business succeed!

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